While telecommuting and remote work was already common in many fields and was in fact getting increasingly popular, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated it. If a business was to even have a small chance of surviving the aftermath of the pandemic, management was forced to switch to the ‘work from home’ (WFH) model.
The WFH Health Challenge
Employees who were initially thrilled to be able to get the job done without braving daily traffic, now had to struggle to balance family and work – some with more chores added to their daily routine, inquisitive parents eager to see what their kids were up to, or noisy toddlers embarrassing them during all-important meetings. Needless to say, this new experience has led to several unhealthy habits – a sedentary lifestyle, undesirable routines and emotional eating!
The existence of convenient, food-delivery apps has added to the challenge of eating healthy, with several WFH menus being marketed galore, and restaurants offering massive discounts on fast food – after all, it’s business for them. In fact, a survey of sales of FMCG products during the year 2020 was astounding – Nestlé India, for example, reported that in just the first quarter, they had recorded the best quarterly sales in the last five years, and that too, globally! And what really were their fastest moving products? The survey showed that it was packaged food – condensed milk, noodles and chocolates!
The Repercussions Of Unhealthy Eating
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), in August 2020, published a study that highlighted the fact that people were more likely to die of a severe heart attack after the onset of the pandemic than in the months before. The reasons they focused on were stress and unhealthy eating, which combined, could be the perfect recipe for disaster! In addition, a sedentary lifestyle has expanded the waist-line and is reducing the life-line with obesity on the rise, along with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
Staying Healthy While Working From Home
Taking the right steps for better health is never too late, but it can admittedly be quite difficult. Your employees may have spent weeks or months during the lockdown curled up in front of the TV with their favorite shows on, while boxes of pizza lay in front of them, and Coke bottles littered the floor. The weighing scales may no longer be their friend, and their favorite jeans refuse to button at the waist. While this lifestyle may be a ticking time-bomb, it’s not too late to diffuse it.
Start off by advocating a healthier lifestyle from management levels. Encourage fixed work hours so that employees have a clear, work-life distinction. Some businesses have a virtual, weekly workout session –yes, there are bound to be goof-ups, but it’s a great way to keep your team fit. And most important of all, you can take the initiative to drive home the importance of good nutrition to your employees. Rather than just sending them a diet chart you’ve picked off the Internet, or boring booklets that drone on, get them face-to-face with a dietitian.
‘Face-to-face’ you may ask? Well, let’s talk ‘screen-to-screen’ instead. Several reputed nutritionists offer virtual sessions, and you may opt for one of these sessions for your entire workforce. Some of these professionals may even extend their sessions to one-on-one interactions with your staff with personalized attention to help them make better choices.
In conclusion, a healthy employee is the lifeblood of your business. The numbers show that unhealthy diet habits, combined with a sedentary lifestyle, are taking a toll on even young, relatively healthy folk. Being proactive and getting your team professional guidance on how to cope with WFH will help them stay balanced and perform better too!
How Gayathri’s Nutrisolutions can help your workforce
Gayathri is a sought after nutritionist and a wellness coach who associates with corporates as part of their nutrition and wellness awareness programs. Her nutrition programs are exquisitely designed to educate and empower employees to adopt healthy lifestyle and behaviors. She conducts bespoke nutrition consultations, counseling and wellness programs to your employees via virtual platforms.